A Tale of Three Cities - Contra Costa County v. Prince George's County

Blog Post created by ryan.quinn Employee on Oct 6, 2009

<p categorylist.asp?categoryid="282&amp;URL=Research%20&amp;%20Reports/Fact%20sheets/Cooking&quot;" http:="http:" www.nfpa.org="www.nfpa.org">Cooking remains the #1 cause of home fires and injuries .&#0160;We know that cooking fires peak between 5:00 p.m and 7:00 p.m. Frying is the number one activity that causes a home cooking fire. Education is an important part of reducing community risk so that fires don&#39;t start. However, prevention education is only one component in reducing fire risk. Engineering and Enforcement are the two other pieces of the pie to complete the three E&#39;s of community risk reduction. Without all three, we will never win the fight against home fire deaths.

In this blog I will present what I like to call "A Tale of Three Cities." One city is located in Contra Costa County, CA. The other two cities are located in Prince George's County, MD.


The headlines&#0160;of the Contra Costa Times on October 2nd reads like this; &quot;Richmond officials probe fatal fire.&quot; &#0160;On that day, a neighbor watering her plants noticed flames coming out from a second floor window. She dialed 911 at 6:14 p.m. and firefighters entered the house at 6:22 p.m. They carried out a 67 year old who was barely alive and died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. It was a simple pot on the stove fire, so how does it result in a death? The townhouse was not protected by fire sprinklers, the residents were mostly older or disabled adults.


Meanwhile, in Prince George&#39;s County, on Thursday, October 1, 2009, two pot on he stove fires ocurred, one in Upper Marlboro, and the other in Bowie. Both fires were extinguished by fire sprinklers.&#0160;There were no injuries or death, and damage was minimal. However, these fires never made headlines. As so eloquently presented in this story; &quot;these home fires won&#39;t make headlines...they won&#39;t make the TV news...No one thinks twice about these two incidents.&quot; Prince George&#39;s County has had&#0160;a home fire sprinkler requirement on the books since the early 1990&#39;s. As a result, the sprinklers did their job in keeping occupants and firefighters safe. Prince George&#39;s County Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones stated; &quot;We are extremely fortunate that Prince George&#39;s County mandates...residential fire sprinkler in any new contruction. Our former leaders had the foresight to have these laws passed to protect citizens, residents, visitors, and our firefighters...&quot;

Very different outcomes in these three cities. This happens every day in America. On average, eight people die in home fires everyday across our nation. Will your leaders have the foresight to implement the three E's of community risk reduction by adopting home fire sprinkler requirements? We all certainly hope so.


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Home Fire Sprinklers Save Lives!

[Maria Figueroa | mailto:mfigueroa@nfpa.org]